Bill expected to intensify and become first Atlantic hurricane of the season

billyMonday will most likely bring about our first hurricane of the season in the Atlantic basin. Tropical Storm Bill, which is very close to becoming a hurricane with 74mph wind doesn’t have much to go.

Speaking of going, here is the “spaghetti plot” of all of our computer models. Every track keeps Bill away from the United States with only a few striking the Canadian maritimes.


Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 16, 2009

Family suing Honda because van didn’t stand up to tornado

By Robert Kahn (Courthouse News Service)

tornado1(CN) – A family demands $10 million from Honda, claiming a side window shattered and injured them when a tornado picked up their Honda Odyssey, which “remained airborne for a few seconds before plummeting to the ground and landing on all four wheels. Upon impact, the driver’s side passenger window shattered and glass flew into the car.”
Two girls suffered eye injuries from the glass and three other family members suffered face, chest and head lacerations, the family says in Prince George’s County Court. One girl lost her left eye and another one needed eye surgery.
The father says he warned his wife – a defendant – not to go to the “back to school night” because there was a tornado warning, but she “was upset at the program for not properly caring for her child and decided it was necessary to drive her children to the program. … A few minutes after her departure, defendant Achumba felt a shove from the rear of the Odyssey, and it was lifted into the air.”
The Achumba family says the tempered glass Honda uses in side windows to reduce costs is not strong enough. They say Honda should use laminated glass, as it does for windshields.
They are represented by Jonathan Dailey of Surovell Markle & Isaacs of Fairfax, Va.


Posted under tornado

This post was written by qni_it on August 14, 2009

This is a little creepy

Because the weather’s so quiet (our last raindrop fell Sunday and our next comes this Sunday), I thought I would post this video of the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. Did you ever know that bridges flex? This timelapse photography shows how the bridge moves up and down under the weight of cars, trucks, and a commuter trainline. Cool? Creepy?


Posted under science

This post was written by qni_it on August 13, 2009

Storm Photos

Sunday’s thunderstorms were very photogenic! We have received dozens of pictures and want more! E-Mail them to me and the best will air tonight on 13News.

I will be posting some of them right here later today so stay tuned! -ES


Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 10, 2009

Livin’ on the edge!

Heat Advisories remain in place for the Rockford metro through Sunday evening. While it will be very warm and humid, we won’t be able to completely rule out some rogue thunderstorms. Here’s why:

capAn atmospheric cap will be present for much of the weekend just to our south. A cap is a weather term that most people are familiar with in the south, but rarely do we have a strong one here! A cap is simply warm air aloft, or above us. Caps prevent clouds from rising (because clouds form when there’s cold air on top of warm air). However, we’re not firmly underneath the cap like downstate Illinois and Missouri. They’ll remain completely hot and dry. For us, we’ll have to watch the temperatures carefully because the cap above us is thinner and temperatures in the 90s Sunday will get some towering cumulus to build. Should those cumulus get enough oomph upward, they could bust through the cap and produce a few thunderstorms. Should this happen, there will be amazing amounts of CAPE (energy) to be used so storms could quickly become severe with damaging wind the main threat.

Something we’ll watch closely for on Sunday. For now we’ll hold our forecast to a 2 in 10 chance of something  blowing up. Odds are that the cap will hold until at least evening. -ES


Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 8, 2009

Big storms may roam the skies by morning

9:30pm – Storms have taken their sweet time developing this evening! All model guidance suggested that they would start firing in western Iowa by 7pm. Well, here we are two hours late and now they’re starting. What does this mean for us now? Few things. First, we can throw out the evening models as they didn’t initialize well. Nowcasting these things and analyzing the atmosphere reveals that the storms will race NE through North-Central Iowa around 50mph through midnight with an eventual turn to the east. These will bring the storms into the Dubuque/Prairie du Chien areas by 12:30am, affecting the Rockford area around 2-3am. As for intensity, they should be pretty robust with damaging wind being the main threat. 60-70mph wind at the onset will be possible, along with a “wake-low” possibility of 40-50mph wind once they move through! A watch will likely be issued for the Mason City, Waterloo area by 10pm with a storm watch possible here after midnight. -ES


Posted under severe weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 7, 2009

13 WeatherCall is here!


13WREX is pleased to bring a state-of-the art personal storm warning service to the Rockford area.

The WeatherCallTM system continuously monitors the National Weather Service’s NOAA weatherwire.  Using GIS computerized mapping, the system compares a subscriber’s specific location to the location of the warning area. When a severe weather warning includes your location, you will receive a phone call from the 13 Weather Authority team, 24 hours a day.

You can also receive the warning by email with a detailed map of the threat area if you provide an email address when you register.  You may also use any of the email address entries to set up the warning to be delivered by SMS text messaging.

Recent improvements in how the National Weather Service defines warning areas have resulted in significantly higher accuracy and smaller warned areas, compared to the decades-old county-wide warning method.

The map below shows how WeatherCall knows who and where to call.

Here’s how it works:

Winnebago and Boone County’s 795 sq. miles are under a TORNADO WARNING.
The actual warning area is 183 square miles.

Only WeatherCall subscribers INSIDE the red box would receive the warning call.

WeatherCall is a subscription-based service that costs $9.95 dollars per year.  When you register, the system attempts to assign a precise latitude and longitude value to your location.  If you enter a street address the system recognizes, your service BEGINS IMMEDIATELY.  If there is a problem determining your location (for instance, a new housing development), there are easy steps to follow for you to locate yourself in the system.

Important things to know if you choose to subscribe to the service:

  • You must provide a PHYSICAL street address.  PO boxes, Mail Stops, Rural Routes, etc. cannot be located in the system. If you do not know your physical address, you can follow the steps provided and attempt to accurately locate yourself.  You can also contact your local US Post Office or county clerk’s office, email the WeatherCall Customer Care team for help or call 1-800-260-6695 for assistance.
  • For each location, you may register up to 3 telephone numbers and 3 email addresses.
  • Any of the 3 email addresses may be configured to receive the warning via SMS text.  Contact your cell phone carrier for the email address of your cell phone.
  • All TORNADO warnings are delivered.
  • You may also choose to receive SEVERE THUNDERSTORM warnings and how they are delivered (phone call, SMS text or email).
  • FLASH FLOOD warnings can also be delivered via email and SMS text messaging only.
  • When you register, send yourself a test call and STORE the incoming number on your phones, naming it WeatherCall so your caller ID will display a storm warning call.

Click here to view WeatherCall FAQ’s

Click here to read and print the Subscriber Agreement.

(To register, you are acknowledging that you accept the terms of the Subscriber Agreement.)


Already signed up?



Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 7, 2009

Friday’s weather: cats & dogs

severep120i00A whole month of boring weather is just about done as we head into the second weekend of August. There are really three things that are of concern. We’ll tackle the weekend heat in later blog articles. However it appears we’re in for a one-two punch with heavy rainfall and severe weather Friday and Friday night. The graphic (upper right) shows the potential rainfall from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. A bullseye of 2-3 inches is located just northwest of the Rockford area. It all depends on how quick/slow a warm front moves into the area.

A warm front will be slow to lift north through the region Friday. Several rounds of thunderstorms are expected with the first one targetting the morning commute and continuing through much of the day. Computer guidance suggests that widespread 2-4 inch totals are possible. Flash flooding will be a real threat, especially by Friday evening.

A large complex of severe storms may work in after midnight Friday. Our models are hinting at a derecho which is a large, long-lived, fast-moving storm. These can produce widespread wind damage, especially when timed for the middle of the night. We’ll continue to monitor this possibility.


Posted under flooding

This post was written by qni_it on August 6, 2009

Animals drown in flood at shelter

Yesterday afternoon on 13News we spotlighted the Louisville, Kentucky area as they were dealing with a major flash flood event.

WHAS-TV did a story today on a local animal shelter that was flooded out. Volunteers worked as quickly as they could to keep all the animals safe. Unfortunately all of the pups and kitties didn’t make it.

(WHAS11) – Witnesses say it took only minutes for floodwaters to rise nearly waist deep inside Louisville’s animal shelter.

But with only a dozen people around and nearly 600 animals, they couldn’t get them all to safety in time.

One dog and nearly a dozen cats drowned Tuesday afternoon.

As many as they could hold at once, workers plucked animal after animal from dark, damp rooms and kennels trying to rescue nearly 600 when floodwaters started pouring in.

You can see looking at floor what a mess it is inside. They’ve been trying to stack crates on top of each other to get animals out of the water because the water was more than halfway up on bottom row of cages. They certainly fighting time as the water was rising inside the shelter.

“At this point the problem is just trying to move everything, dry everything, then bring them back,” said Dr. Gilles Meloche, Director of Metro Animal Services

Thankfully, volunteers just started showing up to help shuttling the pets over the water into trucks, even a semi waiting outside.

They tried to track every paw to their new home at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds. Read the complete story by clicking here.

So my question to you is do you think we could help? The Metro Animal Service has a long list of needed items.


Posted under flooding

This post was written by qni_it on August 5, 2009

National Weather Service working for all of us

Meteorologist Tom Skilling from WGN-TV takes us to the National Weather Service forecast office that issues warnings for the Chicago and Rockford metropolitan areas. Take a look!


Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 4, 2009